(Part of an ongoing series Should I Become A Doctor?)
People rarely ask about income directly, but Doctor D gets a lot of wink-wink nudge-nudge questions about his finances such as,
So to answer your questions Doctor D will throw open the doors to the secret realm of physician personal finance:
“So what you drive, doc, a BMW?”
“It’s hard making ends meet sometimes, but you wouldn’t know about that, would you doc?”
Last year Dr. D made about 150,000 dollars, which is a lot of money. (The Medical Mafia makes sure MD's get paid well in exchange for our souls!) Uncle Sam and student loans took a pretty large chunk of that, but still Doctor D has more than every non-medical person he knows, and he is a Primary Care Doctor, which is one of the lowest paying specialties!
Now before you start filling out medical school applications dreaming of big money let me warn you about the downside: You spend about a decade of your life working for free and amass a mountain of debt to get here.
Dropping Out and Adding UpEveryone considering the financial benefits of medical school should calculate their drop-out sibling equation:
Doctor D has a brother about his age. Brother D was a smart dude, but he never liked school so he dropped out in high school. Brother D immediately started making money working at low-skilled but steady jobs while Dr. D was toiling away at medical education.
Brother D’s lifetime earning was very gradually rising while Dr. D’s debt was increasing, until one day Dr. D started making big bucks. Dr. D and Brother D sat down and did the math problem.
The answer: 41
Doctor D will be 41 years old before his MD catches up with his drop-out brother's GED in lifetime income!Our paths diverged at about 17 years old. Doctor D is 32 now so he has another 9 years till he’s made as much money in his life as Brother D.
Medical School isn’t exactly the quick way to riches.
But in this economy who can complain about making six figures? Doctors do it all the time, but nobody is listening.
Doctors work hard and we get rewarded. It just isn’t as rewarding as some pre-med students and patients think.
"You know you laidies can't resist!"By the way, Dr. D drives the cheapest car Toyota makes—it’s the first new car he ever owned.
What do you think?
Pre-meds and Med Students: Did the financial rewards of affect your career choice?
Patients: Do you think income differences between you and your doctor harms your doctor-patient relationship?
Doctors: Are you satisfied with your income? Do you feel you deserve more or less?
Doctor D always loves to read your thoughts in the comments.